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Meta Announces the Next Step in its Metaverse Transition

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Meta Announces the Next Step in its Metaverse Transition

It’s the end of an era – though in practical terms it will have no impact on… well, anything.

Today, Meta has announced that it will switch from its current ‘FB’ moniker on the stock exchange to ‘META’ as of June 9th.

As per Meta:

Meta Platforms, Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) today announced that its Class A common stock will begin trading on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol ‘META’ prior to market open on June 9, 2022. This will replace the company’s current ticker symbol ‘FB’, which has been used since its initial public offering in 2012. The new ticker symbol aligns with the company’s rebranding from Facebook to Meta, announced on October 28, 2021.

Meta notes that no action by the company’s shareholders is required as a result of the change, and the company’s stock will technically continue to be listed on NASDAQ in the same way, other than the ticker update.

In other words, there will be no change, other than FB becoming META, which is the final step in its metaverse-aligned transformation, leading into its next stage.

Which Meta also flags in the final element of its press release:

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“When Facebook launched in 2004, it changed the way people connect. Apps like Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp further empowered billions around the world. Now, Meta is moving beyond 2D screens toward immersive experiences like augmented and virtual reality to help build the next evolution in social technology.

The metaverse itself is still a fuzzy concept in many respects, with many, many steps required to enable a fully open, interactive set of digital realms, that would then enable users to transfer their digital purchases from platform to platform, and space to space, building the fully interactive virtual world that Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg envisions.

Indeed, Zuck continues to be bullish on the prospects of the next stage, despite acknowledging that it’s going to cost him and his company, many billions of dollars before it starts to pay off in any meaningful way.

As Zuckerberg recently explained to Protocol:

I want to live in a world where big companies use their resources to take big shots. Obviously, if people invest in our company, we want to be profitable for them. If employees join our company, I want to make sure that ends up being a good financial decision for them, too. But I also feel a responsibility to go for it. Use the position that we’re in to make some bets, and try to push forward in a way that other people might not.

There are many risks in this approach, especially in going all-in this early, but the eventual vision of fully interactive digital worlds seems like it will be the future, especially when you consider that youngsters are increasingly growing up interacting in such spaces, via game environments like Fortnite, Roblox, Minecraft and more.

If anything, the pandemic accelerated this shift, with kids being forced to find new ways to socialize and interact with friends amid ongoing lockdowns and school closures. That’s formed new habitual behaviors, and in ten years time, these users will be totally accustomed to engaging within this way, which will spark the real metaverse shift that Zuck and Co. are pointing to.

Logically, this seems the most likely progression. But we’re not there yet, and that middle ground between the future and now will lead to much consternation and uncertainty over what, exactly, the metaverse entails.

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That’ll also lead to profiteering, as all technological advances do, and you can already see consultants and advisory firms looking to spark fear among big businesses of them missing the metaverse boat and losing out to their competition. Much money is already changing hands in this respect – but again, the metaverse, in its fully interconnected, cross-communicative, fully interactive state is not here in any form as yet, and there will need to be significant agreement among the major providers to build for the next stage, before any major steps can be made.

There are elements, for sure, there are hints of what’s coming. But in the rush to stay ahead of the next wave, much time, effort and money will be wasted, when the most significant building blocks are yet to be put in place.

In other words, you don’t need to buy into the hype as yet, but it is worth taking note of the latest shifts, and considering the opportunities of the future, with digital goods, in particular, set to become a transformative element in the new market shift.

From 2030 on, this will be big, and you can build that into your roadmap, but it will take time. Investing in your tech stack makes sense, but going all-in, like Zuck and Co., may pose too many risks for smaller businesses.

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Pinterest Will Now Provide Employees with More Freedom to Work from Where They Choose

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Pinterest Will Now Provide Employees with More Freedom to Work from Where They Choose

Pinterest is moving to give its staff more lifestyle flexibility via an expansion of its ‘PinFlex’ employee incentive program.

As of July 1st, Pinterest will allow eligible full-time employees to spend up to three months working outside of their country of employment, over a rolling 12-month period. 

As explained by Pinterest:

“We listened to feedback shared by employees and added this flexibility to empower everyone to do their most impactful and inspired work. Our Pinners are global, and we know that having worldly perspectives in our company to support them – both at the technological level and the human level – will enable us to deliver on our mission to bring everyone the inspiration to create a life they love.”

The new benefit will be available to all Pinterest employees who’ve been at the company for at least six months, while those who’ve been with the company for less than six months will be able to work outside of their country of employment for up to 30 days in total.

That will provide a heap of opportunity to travel and continue to work, which further leans into the new norms of the modern workforce, with the pandemic-induced work-from-home shift opening new doors for consideration on this front.

Which, really, all businesses and governments should be exploring. Many of the most significant environmental and infrastructure challenges of modern society are based on centralized labor, with the majority of workers congregating into metropolitan hubs in order to maximize career opportunities. But again, as the pandemic has shown, many jobs can be done from home, which, if that were to become the norm, could reduce traffic congestion, bring down property prices, lessen employee expenses, etc. That could also lead to new opportunities for regional towns, and reinvigorate more areas of the economy. There are impacts and benefits to assess in all elements, but it seems like a worthy push for governments to consider as they seek ways to democratize opportunity and growth.

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Which is where Pinterest’s new initiative could be truly beneficial, not just to its employees, who can now work from the beach for three months of the year, but also to the transient towns that could benefit from ongoing business.

It’s an interesting concept, which again leans into broader workforce trends, and could lead the way for other businesses.

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